Sunday 31 March 2013

I just wanna dance

We have another Fabulous at 50 birthday today - dancer-turned-TV-chef Paul Mercurio, most famously the star of the sublimely camp Strictly Ballroom, and one-time possessor of the nicest arse on screen.

Any excuse, really, to post this magnificent classic montage (that includes scenes from Strictly Ballroom) - I Just Wanna Fucking Dance!

Paul Joseph Mercurio (born 31st March 1963)

Hardly "Puppet on a String"...

In case anyone was in any doubt about how seriously countries other than our own take the competition to choose a representative for the Eurovision Song Contest, here are just two that did very well in their national votes...

From Estonia, Winny Puhh and the very catchily-titled Meiecundimees üks Korsakov läks eile Lätti:

...and a combo that very nearly won the vote to represent Norway, it's Emil Solli-Tangen and Gromth with Alone:

I have no idea which songs actually beat these two, but I imagine they won't be half as much fun...

The full line-up for the Eurovision semi-finals has been announced, and is on the official website.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2013 takes place in Malmo, Sweden on Saturday 18th May 2013.

Saturday 30 March 2013

Totty of the Day

The very lovely Simon Webbe of the boy-band Blue, 35 years old today.

Someone pass the smelling salts...


Old Leather Lungs

We have a centenary to celebrate today - Mr Francesco Paolo LoVecchio, better known to the world at the incomparable Frankie Laine (a man whose various nicknames included "Mr. Rhythm", "Old Leather Lungs" and "Mr. Steel Tonsils").

With a career that spanned 75 years(!), Mr Laine saw them all come and go - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Johnnie Ray - and was still belting out his trademark "yippie-ay-ey" Western themes, power ballads and big jazzy numbers right up to his death at 94!

Among the highlights of his career, his was the voice behind such classics as Mule Train, Rawhide, I Believe (still today the song that has chalked up the most weeks at Number 1 in the UK - 18 in total) and Champion The Wonder Horse (although he didn't actually sing the original). Worldwide, he sold more than 100 million records - 21 of them gold discs - and even in 2011 his greatest hits album made the Top Twenty in the UK album charts. He collaborated with many of the greats including Jo Stafford and Doris Day, and mentored the early career of another long-serving singer Tony Bennett.

Here is the man himself, in an early broadcast of one of his more melodramatic (read "camp") hits, Jezebel:

A remarkable voice indeed.

Frankie Laine (30th March 1913 - 6th February 2007)

Friday 29 March 2013


Speaking of traditions...

It may be Good Friday, the start of a long (shivery) weekend for most of us, but it is still the end of the week - so it is time to party!

I am not even going to begin to suggest anyone attempts to emulate Miss Precious Wilson and her boys, as they do appear to have been working on their outlandish costumes for a helluva long time...

But, whatever you do this weekend, have a great one - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Leave A Light? I need sunglasses!

It's traditional...

Happy Easter...

Thursday 28 March 2013

Song of the Day

Having had a shit last day in work before the long Easter break, followed by insufficiently satisfying after-work drinkies, this song just about sums it all up, methinks...

Inflammation of the foreskin
Reminds me of your smile
I've had balanital chancroids
For quite a little while
I gave my heart to NSU
That lovely night in June
I ache for you my darling
And I hope you get well soon.

My penile warts, your herpes,
My syphilitic sore,
Your monilial infection
How I miss you more and more
You Dhobi's itch, my scrumpox
Our lovely gonorrhoea
At least we both were lying
When we said that we were clear

Our syphilitic kisses
Sealed the secret of our tryst
You gave me scrotal pustules
With a quick flick of your wrist
Your trichovaginitis
Sent shivers down my spine
I got snail tracks in my anus
When your spirochetes met mine.

Gonococcal urethritis, streptococcal balanitis, meningomyelitis, diplococcal cephalitis, epididymitis, interstitial keratitis, syphilitic choroiditis, and anterior u-ve-i-tis.

My clapped-out genitalia
Is not so bad for me
As the complete and utter failure
Every time I try to pee.
My doctor says my buboes
Are the worst he's ever seen
My scrotum's painted orange
And my balls are turning green.

My heart is very tender
Though my parts are awful raw
You might have been infected
But you never were a bore
I'm dying from your love, my love
I'm your spirochaetal clown
I've left my body to science
But I'm afraid they've turned it down.

Gonococcal urethritis, streptococcal balanitis, meningomyelitis, diplococcal cephalitis, epididymitis, interstitial keratitis, syphilitic choroiditis, and anterior u-ve-i-tis.

Standing in the shadows too long

Poofs are everywhere in the news lately, it seems!

As Pamala Stanley says, we're Coming Out Of Hiding...

...but hopefully not dressed as badly as she is.

It's a long weekend, peeps! Have a gay one!

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Don't make me over

Dionne Warwick has filed for bankruptcy in the US after amounting debts of almost $10 million (£6.6m) in taxes since 1991.

Warwick, 72, has sold more than 100 million records since the 1960s.

Last March, Warwick celebrated 50 years in show business with a special event at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

Her publicist said she had been the victim of poor financial management.
Read the article on the BBC.

Dionne Warwick on Wikipedia

The trembling trees embrace the breeze

Another day, another beloved diva to celebrate...

What better way to start any day than with the remarkable tonsils of today's birthday girl, the much-missed magnificent Miss Sarah Vaughan?

No-one else could do what "Sassy" did!

"When I sing, trouble can sit right on my shoulder and I don't even notice."

"There's a category for me. I like to be referred to as a good singer of good songs in good taste."

"There are notes between notes, you know."

Sarah Lois Vaughan (27th March 1924 - 3rd April 1990)

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Words are so easy to say, oh ah yeah

Timeslip moment again...

Can it really be twenty years since possibly the most remixed song in dance music history (in a league with The Source ft Candi Staton You Got The Love and Sister Sledge We Are Family) first entered the UK charts?!

I bet Miss Robin S never realised at the time what a massive hit she had on her hands with Show Me Love. Nor, most probably, did she realise she would never have another song in the Top 10...

Heartbreaks and promises
I've had more than my share
I'm tired of giving my love
And getting nowhere, nowhere

What I need is somebody
Who really cares
I really need a lover
A lover that wants to be there

It's been so long
Since I touched a wanting hand
I can't put my love on the line
That I hope you'll understand

So baby if you want me
You've got to show me love
Words are so easy to say, oh ah yeah
You've got to show me love

I'm tired of getting caught up
In those one night affairs
What I really need is somebody
Who will always be there

Don't you promise me the world
All that I've already heard
This time around for me baby
Actions speak louder than words

If you're looking for devotion, talk to me
Come with your heart in your hand
Because my love is guaranteed

So baby if you want me
You've got to show me love
Words are so easy to say, oh ah yeah
You've got to show me love

Show me, show me baby
You've got to give it to me
Give it to me, give it to me, yeah
I don't want no fakes, don't want no phoney
I need your love

Show me, show me, show me baby
Give it to me, give it to me
I am not a toy, I'm not a play thang
You've got to understand

If you're looking for devotion, talk to me
Come with your heart in your hand
Because my love is guaranteed
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

The original is still the best.

Robin S at AllMusic

Monday 25 March 2013

Ain't so surprising

I know it is the birthday today of various megastars including Reg Dwight, Aretha Franklin and Richard O'Brien.

However today is Tacky Music Monday, so it is on tomorrow's birthday girl we are going to shine the spotlight instead.

Here's Miss Ross - 69 tomorrow - and her soon-to-be-ex colleagues in the Supremes, with their "Irving Berlin Medley". Look out around 3.30mins in for a very special surprise guest appearance...

...and have a great week, peeps!

Diana Ernestine Earle Ross (born 26th March 1944)

Sunday 24 March 2013

Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah!

According to Tilda Swinton in her "open letter to David Bowie", at the launch on Wednesday of the V&A's almost sold-out tribute exhibition David Bowie Is, David was "'tickled'... to knock Elvis – for once! – out of the headlines on [their] shared birthday this year."

And quite right too. This is the Year of David Bowie, or so it would seem. And to that end the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival - as always with its eye on the ball (ahem!) - hosted last night's gala We Love David Bowie.

Paul, Jim and I gathered among the hordes of delicious eccentrics parading in their "satin and tat" for the occasion, and settled in for the opening segment - an illustrated talk by that modern-day Ronald Firbank, the admirable Mr Rupert Smith.

Mr Smith has extensive first-hand insight into the enigma that is David Bowie, having met, interviewed and worked with such survivors of the hedonistic Warhol-esque art world that launched Bowie's career as Lindsay Kemp and Jayne County. However even he would not be unequivocal about the sexuality of the great man.

Instead, he took us on a fascinating journey into Bowie's constant toying with the idea - from his declaration that he was "gay, or at least bisexual" in an early interview while at the same time being married (to Angie) with a child, to the Ziggy Stardust era, when his cross-dressing androgyny and on-stage antics such as fellating Mick Ronson's guitar were guaranteed to outrage the establishment and ensured he was rarely out of the papers [a hilarious clip from an early edition of the very mainstream BBC magazine programme Nationwide emphasised this], to his later years, flirting with the ambisexual worlds of Romy Haag, Amanda Lear and Klaus Nomi.

It was this flirtatiousness with the idea of being a "queer icon", Mr Smith argued, which created the "Bowie phenomenon" that steam-rollered the boy from Brixton into a genuine world-dominating superstar, influencing everyone from Mick Jagger to Lou Reed to the New Romantics to today's "alternative" performers. Rupert summed up the huge significance of the man thus:
"Perhaps it was partly for show but ultimately I don't think it matters what he was doing in his private life. He's always been an actor. He clearly knew his way around gay culture in terms of its writing and music and visual art.

"More than anyone else, he blasted the closet-door off its hinges. At the very least in the '70s he was a pioneer of sexual openness in Britain."
And on that note, Rupert ushered in the second part of this extravaganza, a rare big-screen outing for the film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - the live concert footage from Hammersmith Odeon in 1973, after which he "killed the man". And here are just a few clips from this stunning performance:

Oh, how we wished we could have been there...

However, this was a celebration, and as with all good celebrations we had a party to attend! In the packed-to-the-brim sweat-box of the BFI's "Blue Room" we went on to dance the night away, as our DJs Jonathan Kemp (author of the award-winning London Triptych, no less) and Sadie Lee treated us to back-to-back non-stop Bowieness (all his hits, and others influenced by him) to a backdrop of moving slide images and video footage of the man projected on the walls.

It was an ecstatic experience, even if I feel a bit like "the man who fell to earth" this morning...

Among the many blogs I have done about Mr Bowie, read my tributes for his 65th birthday:
David Bowie website

Saturday 23 March 2013

Makes me wanna sing

It's impossible!

Miss Chaka Khan is sixty years old?


This song of hers was one of the soundtracks to my coming-out back in 1984, and brings back many happy memories:

Baby, baby when I look at you
I get a warm feelin' inside
There's something 'bout the things you do
That keeps me satisfied

I wouldn't lie to you, baby
It's mainly a physical thing
This feeling that I got for you, baby
Makes me wanna sing

I feel for you
I think I love you
I feel for you
I think I love you

Chaka Khan,
Let me rock you
Let me rock you
Chaka Khan
Let me rock you
That's all I wanna do
Chaka Khan, let me rock you
Let me rock you, Chaka Khan
Let me rock you
'Cause I feel for you
Feel for you

Baby, baby when I lay with you
There's no place I'd rather be
Can't believe, can't believe it's true
The things that you do to me

I wouldn't lie to you, baby
I'm physically attracted to you
This feeling that I got for you, baby
There's nothing that I wouldn't do

I feel for you
I think I love you
I feel for you
I think I love you

Many happy returns, daaahling!

Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens, 23rd March 1953)

Miss LaSueur commands it...

It's her birthday... So Dance, Fools, Dance!

Lucille LaSueur aka Joan Crawford (23rd March 1905 - 10th May 1977)

More Joan

Even more Joan

Friday 22 March 2013

Spin, spin, sugar

It's another weekend in prospect, peeps. I'll be going to the first (of several, no doubt) Bowie-themed event of 2013 at the BFI tomorrow, and it's apparently Spring (whoo-hoo!) - although it doesn't feel like it - but before all that, as is our tradition here at Dolores Delargo Towers, it's time to boogie!

With the sad news this week of the death of Bobbie Smith, the original lead singer of The (Detroit) Spinners, let's tease out our Afro wigs [order yours from "Star-Glow" above!], get our finest powder-blue dancing suits on and do a bit of a twirl in tribute to the great showman...

It's A Shame, indeed. But Thank Disco It's Friday!

Bobbie Smith obituary

Thursday 21 March 2013

More Aunt madness

“Soon after meeting his Aunt Augusta, he has had a run-in with the police, smoked weed on the Orient Express, smuggled money and been offered sex in a brothel in Paris.”

News that the lovely Menier Chocolate Factory is bringing back to London Giles Havergal's farcical all-male stage production of Graham Greene's Travels With My Aunt sent me immediately off to the interwebs for clips of the big screen version from the 70s.

To my chagrin, I have never yet seen the entire movie. I was too young for the original cinematic release, and don't recall it ever appearing on TV over here. However from the meagre evidence I have seen, Dame Maggie Smith appears to be having a field day, camping it up as "Aunt Augusta"...

"Aunts" seem popular at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Travels With My Aunt is on from 2nd May to 29th June 2013. I think we may try and get tickets...

Wednesday 20 March 2013

A Great Witt

The Partridge Family, Soap, Benson - and The Golden Girls! All of them (and much, much more) were the brainchild of producer Paul Junger Witt, who blows out 70 candles on his cake today...

Any excuse, really, to post a clip of our favourite drag queen mentors in action:

Paul Junger Witt

Golden Girls Central


Sometimes, getting one's hands on (very) last-minute tickets brings us real joy!

Yesterday, I and Paul were delighted to get seats for a genuine slice of "kulture with a capital 'K'", as we trotted off to the marvellous Sadlers Wells Theatre for a one-woman show Danzaora starring one of Andalusia's finest modern flamenco dance virtuosi, Señorita Rocío Molina.

One of the stars of the annual Flamenco Festival London - a prestigious event to which I have (shamefully) never been before, and it is celebrating its tenth year... - Rocío Molina has been variously described as "one of the greatest flamenco dancers I have all points resisting stereotype, staleness, categorization" (New York Times) and "probably the most exciting young dancer in flamenco today" (TimeOut), she is a previous winner of the best dancer award at the Seville Biennial Flamenco Festival, and is generally considered to represent a "New Wave" in the traditional artform.

The show was indeed utterly astonishing, as the diminutive Señorita, ably accompanied by the beautiful vocals of Jose Angel Carmona, the superb guitar of Eduardo Trassiera and Jose Manuel Ramos' percussion (clapping and tapping mainly), twirled, stamped, tapped and leapt around the minimal stage. With a combination of traditional flamenco and bolera, Hollywood syncopation, ballet and contemporary interpretative dance moves of her own creation, she was inexhaustible! For an hour-and-a-half, she mesmerised us, and rarely (if ever) stood still throughout.

It is impossible to single out a particular segment of the performance for praise, as it was all so enchanting, but the experiments with sound and echo that form the crux of the finale were an experience I will certainly never forget in a hurry.

Danzaora was a feast for the senses. We were completely awe-struck.

Here's some snippets from Rocío Molina's show:

Flamenco Festival London continues until 27th March 2013.

Rocío Molina biography

I wish I was back in Spain...

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Canadian knob

Scientists have found a peculiar, phallus-shaped creature in Canada.

My first thought, of course, was Ontario's own Justin Bieber...

Monday 18 March 2013


And so, farewell, then Frank Thornton - better known as the curmudgeonly Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served?

Read more on the BBC website

That means that only Mr Rumbold is left...

Life is like a beautiful melody

“Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up.”
― Hans Christian Andersen

It's Monday again. Ho hum, never mind.

To take our minds off such mundanities as work, rain, cold, dark and everything else, on this Tacky Music Monday let's have some glitter and sparkle instead!

Courtesy of the supremely talented Miss Heather Parisi and her gorgeous band of not-gay-at-all writhing boys and not-tarty-at-all writhing girls, here's the very lovely (you will agree) It Sounds Like a Melody!

Would it be churlish of me to say at this point "no, it doesn't"?

Ah, the joys of 1980s Italian TV...

Sunday 17 March 2013


It's Paddy's Day today - and typically it has pissed down non-stop. That never stops the party, of course, which no doubt has been taking place all weekend!

To celebrate, here's a double - Ireland's finest ballsy jazz vocalist Miss Camille O'Sullivan (Jacques Brel acolyte and favourite of Marc Almond, no less) with her tribute to another (very sadly missed) Celtic heroine, Miss Kirsty MacColl.

In These Shoes? I don't think so...

Camille O'Sullivan official website

St Patrick's Day on Wikipedia

Saturday 16 March 2013

Midwest trans, gay superheroes, a Messiah, brown skirts, Elsie and tomato masturbation

[photo courtesy of Krys at KrysPhotos]

Yet again, Paul Burston proved that Polari is more than merely "London's peerless gay literary salon", it is in fact one of the best evening's entertainment you can have with your clothes on! John-John, Craig, little Tony, Ange, "Polari virgin" Vicky, our Paul and I (and an audience that not only included regulars such as Val (VG) Lee but also the estimable Marcus Reeves and gay royalty Bette Bourne) were treated to a spectacular selection of divertissements last night.

Opening with a visual tribute to the cover art of Bowie's new album The Next Day, Paul introduced a newcomer to such events, the diminutive Lucy Danser.

Miss Danser apparently studied Acting and Playwriting at the University of Indiana in Bloomington - a MidWest city not famous for its multicultural tolerance - where, to her surprise, she encountered a most unusual restaurateur, Rachael. This remarkable trans individual - formerly known as Eric - and her valiant struggle to maintain "Rachael's Café" as an oasis where everyone is accepted with no exceptions, standing firm against archetypal Redneck attitudes, inspired Lucy to write a play based upon her life. Miss Danser read us a passage from this fascinating work, which illustrated the difficulties of running this unique venue perfectly. Rachael's Café has been staged at fringe festivals in Edinburgh, Dublin, London and Brighton, and I hope it gets the support it deserves for a proper theatrical run...

Our second reader, Will Davis is an award winning writer and trapeze artist (a most unusual combination, admittedly). As on the last occasion we saw him at Polari, it was the former skill with which he entertained us - with a rather fab and hilarious short story Super Closet, about the bothersome experiences of a world-famous superhero struggling with potentially the only foe that might defeat him - his own homosexuality, and society's homophobia. A brilliant concept, excellently delivered. We were enraptured.

However, our next performer took us on a completely different and unexpected course, as Paul introduced "boylesque" performer Mr Mistress as "The Gay Messiah"! Mere words cannot describe this incredible piece, so here he/she is in person:

Still reeling from that performance, it was almost time for the break when the stage was invaded by a most unusual protestor - "Barbara Brownskirt from Penge"! Resplendent in cagoule and sensible shoes, she "treated" us to some of her - ahem! - poetry, before being unceremoniously chucked out (to go and "invade the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival", apparently)...

It was, of course, a brilliant and hilarious piss-take by none other than our next reader and Polari favourite, the wonderful Miss Karen McLeod. After the break, the lady herself took centre stage (looking a lot better than her "Barbara Brownskirt" incarnation). She treated us to two of her beautifully-written short stories - both of which feature on her magnificent blog The View From The Thirteenth Floor - the rather funny Sorry, Simon Amstell and rather more touching My Name is Elsie, about escorting her Mum to see her Aunty in a nursing home:
Mum gets out a box of Maltesers. I pull off the cellophane as Mum says her fingers aren't working today.

I notice Elsie looks like her sister, my mum's mother, my grandmother. It's the look of being old, crumpled and tired. Her legs have lost all shape of ankle. I go into the room to fetch her cardigan and skim the row of old folks in the main room. This Morning is on TV and I start praying that I don't end up sat in a room filled with sleeping strangers, watching Eamon Holmes' equivalent. But then again they probably prayed not to be old once too. I stop myself from welling up. I think how all the people look strangely alike.
Karen writes so beautifully. We were stunned...

Before we had chance to get too maudlin - difficult anyway, given Miss McLeod's bubbly personality - it was time for our headliner, cartoonist Steven Appleby!

We loved his previous visit here back in December 2011, and this time he began with a bit of a recap of his story, his life, and the wild imaginings that permeate his drawings - including favourite characters "Dragman" and "Loomus". However, there was an even greater treat in store, as he plucked from a pot (that Val Lee had been around collecting from the audience earlier) a selection of people's "hidden secrets".

From two of these - "I was tempted to push someone off the platform on the Tube" and "I was supposed to plant my tomato seeds, but spent the morning masturbating instead" (!) - he proceeded to create pieces of his wonderful artwork before our eyes!

It was a joy to behold, and a fitting culmination to a brilliant night...

We love Polari!

Award-winning author Paul Bailey headlines the next outing for Polari at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 26th April 2013. I can't wait...

Friday 15 March 2013

I'm gonna add some bottom

Thank heavens for that - a miserable cold (and long) week is almost over, and we can let our hair down...

On this, the 70th birthday of the original "Superfly Guy" Mr Sly Stone, I think it only fitting that we clad ourselves in rhinestone-covered, skin tight, slashed-to-the-waist orange sateen and a bibbidy-bobbedy hat - and Dance To The Music!

Thank Disco It's Friday!

All we need is a drummer
For people who only need a beat, yeah

I'm gonna add a little guitar
And make it easy to move your feet

I'm gonna add some bottom
So that the dancers just won't hide

You might like to hear my organ
I said ‘Ride, Sally, ride’

Sly Stone offical website

Thursday 14 March 2013

I used to get my pee-pee out in the shopping mall

"I didn’t have a choice about being gay – I mean I literally fell out of my mother’s womb and landed in her high heels!"

In her review in Beige magazine, the estimable Dame Vesta Bules describes Mr Leslie Jordan's new one man show Fruit Fly as "a series of reminiscences told in a delicious Southern accent that makes Blanche Devereaux sound like a trucker."

And indeed it was thus - as we settled into a bijou and largely curtained-off Leicester Square Theatre last night [it didn't seem to be sold out, more's the pity] for an intimate evening with the star of Sordid Lives and Will and Grace, a man who has variously been nick-named "the American Ronnie Corbett", "a pint-sized Alan Bennett lookalike" and (by the man himself) “The Gayest Man I Know”.

Opening the evening's entertainment was the latest big name in drag entertainment, The Supreme Fabulettes (Miss Vicki Vivacious, Miss Maddison Lee and Miss Vanilla Lush), protégés of Boy George and purveyors of some of the best vocal harmonies in the business. They glittered, they pouted, they captivated the audience with ther "tribute to the girl groups and singers" - the Supremes, Tina Turner, Adele, ShangriLas and so on. They truly lived up to their stage name (they even showed a spoof cartoon of them as superheroines!), and we loved them so much we vowed to catch one of their full shows some time.

The appetiser over, it was time for the full meal - as Mr Jordan hurled his petite form on to the stage, and dragged us, hilariously, through the history in Polaroids of his evolution from an obviously gay boy in deepest darkest Chattanooga, Tennessee to the showbiz treasure we know today. He painstakingly described cherished trips to the beauty parlour, where he absorbed the mannerisms and bitchiness of the Southern belles ("I wanted to be Miss Varlene: "I don't want my hair teased, I want it terrorised!", she said"), his precocious development as a growth-hormone-infused pre-teen “choirboy slut”, his trips, in drag, to the black jazz club "Miss Odessa's Good Time House", a venue his family and neighbours would have been horrified to know he was frequenting - all illuminating and deliciously salacious stuff.

However, the man is so adorable, so mischievous - “Don’t you dare judge me!” is just one of his winking asides to the audience as yet another shocking anecdote (gonorrhoea at thirteen, deciding to quit college and become a female impersonator at seventeen, drink-and-drug-fuelled twitching and general whore-dom becoming his hobbies) causes a collective sharp intake of breath - while he minces back and forth across the stage, that we instantly fell for him and his honesty.

The point of this extravagant, meandering out-pouring of fun, frolics and madness (and, inevitably, moments of sadness)? To explore the eternal question: "Do gay boys become like their mothers?" Although his relationship with his beloved Daddy and his struggles with his masculine concerns (football, fishing) are a source of almost tearful soul-searching - Mr Jordan always felt, especially after Daddy's early death, he was a "disappointment" to him - and his jealous relationship with his twin sisters ("That's...uh...I forget her name!") is a perfect illustration of where his penchant for attention-seeking came from ("I used to get my pee-pee out in the shopping mall to get attention!"), it is his enduring love for Momma Peggy-Ann that is real crux of the Leslie Jordan story.

"I thought that my mother was a fairy princess because she was so pretty."

From his upbringing as a tiny "sissy", playing with his treasured umbrella and trying on his sisters' petticoats ("Don't show your Daddy" became a mantra), through the tempestuous upsets of Leslie's teenage sexual revelations, through her remarriage that almost alienated her from her son and brought on her bizarre psychosomatic illnesses, it is Miss Peggy-Ann who emerges as the star of this particular show. Indeed, it is the fabulous tale of her triumphal appearance on an all-gay cruise ship as Leslie's guest, and her soft words on meeting two elderly lesbians in a fifty-year relationship, that is the final touching story he tells to end this magnificent evening - when asked on the cruise if she was a “fag hag” she said, “No, I’m a fruit fly”, and thus gave the show its title.

This was an absolutely top-notch evening, only slightly marred by some over-enthusiastically "participative" members of the audience who had to be told to shut up. I fell ever-so-slightly in love with Leslie Jordan...

Leslie Jordan: Fruit Fly is at The Leicester Square Theatre until 16th March 2013.

Here's a trailer for his last triumphal show (now on DVD) - My Trip Down the Pink Carpet:

Leslie Jordan official website